Digital workers prioritize flexibility – not hiring – Politico

Sarah Sky Tidal, Miriam Lexman, Radan Kanev, George Falco, Jessica Boulevard, Lukas Mandel, Stefan Berger, Tomasz Zdzczykowski, Romana Tomek, Christian Sagartz, Eugene Tomac, Rosa Astaras Verragut are members of the European People’s Party group in Parliament and are part of the Action Committee and Social Affairs.

The digital platform economy has undoubtedly become an essential part of our lives, shaped by everything from employment to transportation and consumption.

But this growing part of our economy also presents its own unique set of challenges – challenges that must be addressed through a clear and balanced legal framework. And while the European Parliament considers new directive, a big question still looms: Should platform workers be considered employees; And do they want that?

The new directive on improving conditions for digital platform workers currently being considered by Parliament contains two main points. – the introduction of new rules about managing algorithms, which are both welcome and necessary, and the assumption of staffing, which, unfortunately, is misleading in its scope.

Parliament, of course, has addressed this employment issue before – but in a much fairer way.

Written by MEP Sylvie Brunet of Renew Europe, and adopted by a majority of 524 MEPs, Special Initiative Report From September, focusing on social protection for platform workers, he called for a limited assumption of employment. This means that the report’s compromise targeted “fake self-employment” – as in work that comes with all employee responsibility but none of the benefits. And while doing so, it really recognized the rights of the self-employed, and it didn’t come to anything close to a mass reclassification of platform workers.

However, the coalition that produced this balanced Brunet report is now at risk.

In its December guidance proposal, the committee provided much broader criteria for the reclassification, which will now include the vast majority of platform workers. And just last month, the rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), MP Elisabetta Gualmini of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, decided, get rid of Assuming employment in all but name, and replacing it with rules that would result in mandatory hiring for everyone working across digital platforms.

But Many independent studies They have shown time and time again that the vast majority of platform workers value flexibility and better profits, as well as the ability to work with multiple platforms at the same time, more than they do with the benefits of a traditional working relationship.

Thus, few would support the Commission’s proposal, let alone the draft report currently being considered by the EMPL committee, which would automatically reclassify them as employees, depriving them of the ability to combine their work with other sources of income, care responsibilities, studies or other personal obligations.

While both the Committee and Parliament rapporteur have set good intentions, if we are to achieve a more balanced guidance, there are still key key points to bear in mind regarding platforms and their growing importance in the digital economy.

First, it is important not to lose sight of the desires of those working in today’s platform economy, who prefer to retain their status as self-employed workers. In short, they value the flexibility of working over the benefits of traditional jobs.

In addition, it must be remembered that the guidance in line with the report will target not only those who work as drivers and couriers, but also tens of thousands of highly skilled professionals, who use the Internet to find customers. Since such services can be provided from anywhere in the world, the proposed directive puts European professionals – software developers, translators and language teachers – at a disadvantage to their non-EU competitors.

Finally, the currently proposed guidance will ignore digital transformation. For example, these proposals might dictate that a delivery service driver working through an app should become an employee of the app developer, while a similar driver working through a dispatch desk and two-way radio would be able to maintain the benefits of self-employment. Thus, mentoring can end up giving the greatest business advantage to less innovative companies.

Needless to say, such an approach would be detrimental to European competitiveness, as well as European jobs.

This is why we, as EMPL members of the EPP group in Parliament, will seek to rebalance the motion and seek guidance that emphasizes digital transformation, targets illusory self-employment, and protects the rights of the true self. They are hired by making sure that platform workers can continue to make the decisions that are most appropriate for them.

Innovation lies in the DNA of Europe. While increased digitization has led to job losses in many sectors, we truly believe that with an appropriate and balanced legal framework, Europe can make up for this loss and become a global leader in the growing platform economy.